sunday circular

9 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Star Projectors to Slippers

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favourites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including some 100 percent waterproof puffer slippers, and a tip on to buy a luxurious perfume (in miniature). And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.)

A best-selling musical star projector

Whilst Strategist readers bought all manner of things on Black Friday — from cashmere jumpers to hyaluronic acid — gifts for kids were especially popular. In particular, the second best-selling item during the Black Friday period was this expert-recommended star projector. It was originally featured in our list of the best gifts for 1-year-olds, and the projector has now been among our most-bought items for four months. As well as projecting a star effect, the cordless device plays soothing lullaby music to help little ones to drift off. Also, an extra 10 percent saving can be made if you subscribe to the JoJo Maman Bébé’s newsletter.

A spicy, minerally men’s fragrance

Meanwhile, in our editor’s November haul, Strategist writer Chris Mandle shared his search for a new fragrance. “Keen to broaden my olfactory palette, I have spent the past couple of months sniffing my way through any department store I drifted into,” he writes. “One afternoon at Liberty, I landed on a Frederic Malle scent I was drawn to: the campily named French Lover, which is spicy in places but also quite minerally.” Mindful that Frederic Malle is exceptionally expensive, Mandle purchased a smaller ten-milliliter bottle for around £40 (an insider tip picked up from a friend). He’s already saving up for a larger bottle.

An all-identities astrological handbook


If you’re stumped on what to buy your astrology-fanatic friend for Christmas, we’re here to help. We asked nine professional astrologers about the items on their wish lists. Their picks ranged from essential oil diffusers to crystal singing bowls to the best astrology books. Astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo, author of Astrology for Real Relationships: Understanding You, Me, and How We All Get Along!, brought this book to our attention. She shared that her astrologist friends have actually been stealing her own copy without fail each time they visit her. The book is broken up into 12 chapters, each taking a deep dive into how compatible each Zodiac sign is with the others. The book, which Lanyadoo highlights as great for beginners, is inclusive of all identities and sexual preferences, which makes it a great gift for any budding astrologer.

A personalised wooden xylophone

In our gift guide for 3-year-olds, parenting and child experts gave us their top picks of toys for kids, such as this Symphony Crocodile. “This colourful, musical crocodile provides a great way to encourage little ones to make music, which is excellent for their creative development and self-expression,” says play psychologist Amanda Gummer. With an option to personalise the set with the giftee’s name and age, we think the Croc would make for an especially thoughtful present this Christmas.

A gift for an absolutely fabulous mum


If your mum is the sweetie darling type, we’ve got just the gift in the mind. A bottle of Chambord — a raspberry liqueur — is always a welcome addition to the drinks cabinet. We suggest mixing a dash with a glass of Champagne to make a festive Chambord Royale. One final bonus: Chambord is currently on sale at 20 percent off.

A stone-crushed olive oil

For a dad that knows his way around the kitchen, a bottle of fancy olive oil is sure to delight. Joshua Pattison, founder of Bill & Beak in Camden Market, told us this olive oil was his go-to for “dressing dishes and dipping ridiculous amounts of bread into.” If you’re keen to discover some more gift-worthy olive oils, you can read our guide of the best here.

A seasidey face scrub


A bottle of 100 percent vegan Acure Facial Scrub will gain a nod of approval from even the most dermatologically inclined girlfriend. Plus, it’s made with sea kelp and French green clay and smells like the seaside.

Some jolly musical crackers


When we investigated the best Christmas Crackers on Amazon, these Robin Reed musical crackers came out on top. Each set includes eight numbered crackers, each of which includes a handbell that plays a different note. The pack also includes sheet music for popular songs, from Christmas classics to songs from beloved movies (such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). One reviewer said that whilst trying to conduct a slightly boozy table could prove stressful, the crackers delighted all family members. Thirty-five reviewers said they would recommend the crackers to others, and 27 said they’d safely stored away the handbells for future dinner party entertainment.

And a pair of status slippers

If your boyfriend wears a Nuptse all winter, he’ll be thrilled to know he can now extend his North Face collection to footwear. Described as “low-rise hiking boots,” we think the 100 percent waterproof thermo-mules would actually make for a great gift as a pair of winter slippers — ones that can even be slipped on for taking the bins out. The mules are available in five colorways, including camo and all black.

The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

9 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: Projectors to Slippers